Italy's Finmeccanica and Libya's sovereign wealth fund said they have agreed to cooperate on aerospace and other projects in the Middle East and Africa, tapping into a market worth as much as $20 billion.
The deal is the latest tie-up between an Italian company and Libya, which has recently bought stakes in Italian companies like UniCredit and Eni and is now turning its focus to setting up joint ventures for projects in Libya and elsewhere.
Under the deal, a 50-50 joint venture between Finmeccanica and the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio -- an investment fund owned by Libya's sovereign wealth fund -- will be created within a year and act as the main vehicle for investments.
It will pursue opportunities in the aerospace, electronics, transportation and energy sectors, tapping into a market worth up to $20 billion, Finmeccanica CEO Pier Francesco Guarguaglini told Italian television.
Finmeccanica last week said it won a 541 million euro rail signalling contract in Libya through its Ansaldo STS SpA unit.
Earlier this month Finmeccanica denied a report that Libya was in talks to buy a stake of up to 10 percent in the Italian defence and aerospace company.